The NBA board of governors approved a vote earlier today to resume the NBA season in Orlando, Florida, beginning on July 31 and ending the playoffs no later than October 12.
The season will resume in a 22-team format with 8 regular season games before the postseason begins. The current top eight seeds of the Western and Eastern Conference will make the 22-team cut as well as six teams currently within six games of the eighth seed in their respective conference. These teams include the Washington Wizards, Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, and the Sacramento Kings.
A play-in tournament will occur if a ninth place team finishes the season within four games of the eighth seed. In the tournament, the ninth place team will need to beat the eighth seed twice to move on to the playoffs while the eighth seed will only need to beat the ninth place team once to secure a playoff spot.
With all this information, what does that mean for the Sacramento Kings?
With teams beginning to train in Orlando July 9-11, the Kings are still a little over a month away from really beginning to practice and prepare for the season to resume.
But what the Kings have that other teams might not have is youth and speed.
Granted, the NBA is made up of world-class athletes, but considering an NBA game hasn’t been played since March 11 and teams will only have about 20 days to train in Orlando before the season resumes, the Kings should find their youth to be an advantage.
The young Kings should be able to get into shape relatively easier than teams with older rosters, and considering they played extremely well last season with an up-tempo style of play, they should go straight into the season aiming to outrun their opponents.
It helps to have the rising-star point guard, and arguably the fastest player in the league, De’Aaron Fox. And he may have even garnered more speed after cutting off his long locks during the NBA’s suspension.
Of course, there are obstacles. With the New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, and the Memphis Grizzlies, who currently hold the eighth seed, the Kings do have their fair share of youthful competition vying for that final playoff spot.
As of this moment, the Kings share ninth place with both the Portland Trailblazers and New Orleans Pelicans, sitting 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies.
No schedule has been released yet, but with five teams in the Western Conference fighting for that eighth seed, it sets up for a heck of a battle in the final eight regular season games.
At the very least, the Kings need to fight for ninth place and move within four games of the eighth seed.
With the way the Kings were playing to end the season, it seems very possible that Sacramento can continue their solid play when the season resumes and secure a playoff seed.
There are still many other questions surrounding the Kings, like: Will Marvin Bagley be active to play? Will Buddy Hield continue coming off the bench?
Answers will surely reveal themselves in due time. However, for the moment, let’s enjoy the return of the NBA and the thought of the Kings fighting their way into a playoff berth.